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March 14, 2008

Congresswoman Velázquez Receives 2008 U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Award

WASHINGTON, DC - Congresswoman Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY) was honored yesterday evening by the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC) with their 2008 Chairman’s Award. The award recognizes her work in support of Latino small business owners.

“We selected Congresswoman Velázquez for her outstanding public service and support of the interests of our Hispanic business community,” said David C. Lizárraga, USHCC Board Chairman. “She has been instrumental in advancing policy positions that help foster economic growth in our community and among all small businesses. Her work serves as an example and inspiration to the millions of Hispanic entrepreneurs throughout our nation.”

In 2006, she was named Chairwoman of the House Small Business Committee, becoming the first Latina to chair a full Congressional committee. During Congresswoman Velázquez’s first year in the position, the Committee approved a record number of bills – 19 – with broad bipartisan support. As an advocate for minority-owned firms, she has worked to pass legislation that modernizes entrepreneurial development programs, increases access to federal contracts and creates incentives for banks to provide financing to small firms in minority communities.

“Hispanic business owners have demonstrated that they possess the initiative to succeed, and have made great contributions to our nation’s economy,” Congresswoman Velázquez said. “I will continue to work on the issues that most affect Latino small firms and their employees, including access to affordable healthcare and funding for start-up businesses.”

Founded in 1979, the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce actively promotes the economic growth and development of Hispanic entrepreneurs and represents the interests of more than 2.5 million Hispanic-owned businesses in the United States that generate more than $388 billion annually. It also serves as the umbrella organization for 200 local Hispanic chambers in the United States, Puerto Rico, Canada, Mexico, Bolivia and Uruguay.